Archive for February, 2010

Elements & Principles of Design

It is very important to learn and understand how elements in a work of art fit together to create an aesthetically appealing design.  This is done through the use of elements and principles of design.  The elements and principles of design are extremely important in graphic design so that you create the most ‘bang for your buck.’

Define the following terms by posting a comment to this blog and then find an example in a magazine (yes, cut or tear it out and label it) that illustrates the definition.  Label specifically which part of the image you choose illustrates which element/principle.  Be sure that YOU UNDERSTAND what the term means!

1. Emphasis

2. Contrast

3. Repetition

4. Movement (Flow)

5. Unity (Gestalt)

6. Alignment

7. Space

8. Balance


Logo Design

What is a logo?  Define the term.

There are three ‘types’ of logos–typographic, image, or a combination of the two.

The following are image based logos. All of these company logos have evolved over time.  They all started with their name included in the original logo.  Name the company that goes with each logo.  What does it take for a company to become recognizable by an image only logo?

image logos

The following are type-based and combination image and type logos.   Why would it be important to include type in a logo?  Look at the FedEx logo carefully–what symbol is hiding within the letters?  Was that intentional design?  (Look it up!)

type-image logos

Pick a logo that you know has been around a while (meaning at least 10+ years.)  Research the design history of that logo.  How has it changed over the years?  Be sure to include a link to the website you looked at in your blog post.  Good websites to reference:

You are going to design your own logo.  Choose from:
Java Joe’s Coffee Shop
Rosemary and Thyme Catering
Board Meetings Surf Shop
UltraSwag Clothing Co.

Create a profile/background for the company.  Answer the who, what, where, when and why questions about the company.  Brainstorm images, fonts, layouts, shapes, colors, etc.  that would help to visually illustrate the answers to these questions.

Think about which type of logo  you are going to use. (hint–when designing for a brand new company, it’s pretty important to include the name for immediate company recognition!)

Sketch a minimum of 12 logo ideas for your choice of company.

We must learn about critiques!

In the art world, critiques are extremely important.  They are a way to learn about how others view, judge, look at and understand your work.  In graphic design, you cannot create without critiques.  The job of a designer is to create artwork for a client.  If the client doesn’t like your work, you must change it and adapt it to their desires.  They have the final say as they are paying you to create for them.  Therefore, you must present rough drafts several times over to the client so that they may see your progress as you work towards a final design.  We will critique our rough and final drafts in here often.

Your first step in learning to critique is to answer the following questions about the design shown below.  Do the best you can and answer everything that you know.

1. Describe what you see.

2.  What is the purpose of the ad?

3. How are the elements and principles of design (specifically emphasis, pattern/repetition and contrast) used to convey this meaning?

4. Describe the designer’s concept?  What was their idea behind the design of this ad?

5. Who do you think the target audience is?  Why?

6. Is this a successful (good) design/ad?  Explain your thoughts.